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Installing ubuntu with tftpd-hpa and udhcpd

on in Linux

I needed to install a computer for my sister. She want a laptop, but until she has the money for it, she’ll be using one of my old computers.

It’s one with no dvd/cd drive (she doesn’t know that :) ), so I had to install ubuntu over the network.

First, like I always do:

aptitude install tftpd-hpa

Then make sure /etc/default/tftpd-hpa looks like:

#Defaults for tftpd-hpa
OPTIONS="-l -s /var/lib/tftpboot -vvvvv"

And make sure you copy the right files to /var/lib/tftpboot. I don’t want to explain that here. If you’re interested in how to make that work: e-mail me or read the Ubuntu wiki.

Then you need a dhcp server that can send where to find the files. My router doesn’t support that (US Robotics), so I needed to install a local dhcp server. Usually I installed a fully-flexed dhcp server, but this time I wanted something simple. Apt-cache search showed me udhcpd. So:

aptitude install udhcpd

Then create /etc/udhcpd.conf and make it look like this (if you have a wireless interface):

dns #Ip address of the local dns server (router in my case)

boot_file hardy/pxelinux.0

Then (re)start both services:

/etc/init.d/tftpd-hpa restart
/etc/init.d/udhcpd restart

Start the computer you want to install and select an option similar to: “Boot from network” and go!!!!!!

I really liked udhcpd: it’s really simple and fast. Tftpd-hpa always has worked great for me, so that’s why I picked it this time too.

There could be errors in this post, I typed it largely without checking. If you can’t figure out how to install it yourself: please let me know via a comment.